Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 17, 2002 - History - 344 pages
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On January 28, 1945, 121 hand-selected U.S. troops slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. A recent prison massacre by Japanese soldiers elsewhere in the Philippines made the stakes impossibly high and left little time to plan the complex operation.

In Ghost Soldiers Hampton Sides vividly re-creates this daring raid, offering a minute-by-minute narration that unfolds alongside intimate portraits of the prisoners and their lives in the camp. Sides shows how the POWs banded together to survive, defying the Japanese authorities even as they endured starvation, tropical diseases, and torture. Harrowing, poignant, and inspiring, Ghost Soldiers is the mesmerizing story of a remarkable mission. It is also a testament to the human spirit, an account of enormous bravery and self-sacrifice amid the most trying conditions.


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Did you know that 60 million lives were lost during World War II? As many as 291,000 Americans soldiers died. The American fighters were depicted by Hampton Sides in Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission. These soldiers served in the army during World War II, and survived a very gruesome ordeal because of their appalling food, atrocious diseases, and relentless enemies. Whenever the American’s food ran critically low, they had to resort to eating disgusting alternatives, like cats, slugs, and python eggs! Even worse, the Americans had to withstand severe diseases, such as malaria and dysentery, which were both very painful. Malaria infects your liver cells and dysentery inflames the intestine, causing diarrhea. While having to deal with illnesses and inadequate food, the Americans had another major issue, the Axis. The Japanese part would stop at nothing to defeat their enemies, and at the same time kept prisoners under brutal conditions. Overall, World War II was a very tough time for the majority of the American soldiers. This is William from Jar of Creativity. 

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One of the better books about the inhumane treatment that our soldiers endured in the Pacific.
Makes you wonder how those Japanese could even sleep at night!!!

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About the author (2002)

Hampton Sides is a contributing editor to Outside. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, DoubleTake, The New Republic, The Washington Post and on All Things Considered. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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